The All Progressives Congress (APC) in Edo Stated yesterday flagged off its campaign ahead of the September 19 governorship election in the state.
The campaign which was attended by leaders of the party across all levels and supporters at the Sports Complex of the University of Benin, Ugbowo, was preceded by official endorsement of the party’s candidate in the election, Mr. Osagie Ize-Iyamu, by President Muhammadu Buhari when he presented the party’s flag on Friday, August 7 at the Aso Villa.
The party’s caretaker committee chairman and governor of Yobe State, Mr. Mala Buni, led a delegation of other governors and leaders of the party from across the country to the flag-off rally and assured voters that the party will reclaim the state at the polls.
Addressing party leaders and supporters, Buni said the party was united for Ize-Iyamu and assured the electorate that the APC would reclaim Edo State at the poll.
“We are here to take back our mandate, to take back our state. Four years ago, we were here. You have voted for APC and we have no doubt in our minds that you are going to vote for APC and return our mandate in Edo State.
“We are here to admonish you not to be violent throughout the campaign processes and the election, because victory is ours. We are here to win and not to fight. But we must ensure that every vote must count,” he said.
For his part, the chairman of the party’s national campaign council and governor of Kano State, Mr. Umar Ganduje, said the APC had begun on a victorious note with the successful inauguration of the excluded members of the Edo State house of assembly and urged voters to choose the APC at the polls for inclusive governance and return to growth and development.
“From the crowd that we have seen, we have to conclude that this election will be won by the APC.
“I have to congratulate you on the inauguration of 14 elected state House of Assembly members and also the election of the new principal officers of Edo State House of Assembly. We do congratulate you and we pray Almighty God to guide them for successful deliberations in Edo State House of Assembly.
“In fact, we were astonished. We were surprised. We were shocked. For 13 good months, 14 members were not inaugurated. But now, we have succeeded. Three other legislators, including the deputy speaker, have now joined the successful 14. Now, they have 17. Seventeen is more than two thirds of 24 legislators. We have more than two thirds. We thank you for that,” said Ganduje.
The former national chairman of the party, Mr. Adams Oshiomhole, flayed the incumbent governor Mr. Godwin Obaseki on his conflicting academic credentials and litany of memorandum of understanding which, according to him, merely enriched consultants and failed to offer any benefit to the people.
“Never again shall we have a governor who will describe Edo youths as miscreants. We do not have miscreants in Edo State. It is the business of the governor and the government to empower the poor and elevate them to the position of dignity.
“Never again shall we have a governor who will invite the Vice-President (Prof. Yemi Osinbajo, SAN) of Nigeria to come for groundbreaking of a forest for industrial park in Benin and that MoU (Memorandum of Understanding) had been signed and the Chinese would come, with electric power for 24 hours non-stop, but today, the bush is there.
“Even the 2 by 2 room they arranged for the vice president when the groundbreaking was done has been removed. Do you want government by MoU again?
“Never again shall we have a governor who will tell us that in two years, by November 2018, we are going to have a modular refinery, creating jobs for millions of Edo people,” he said.
In his remarks, Ize-Iyamu, thanked the party’s leaders and supporters for “coming to identify with us” and assured that “in this election (on September 19), we will not only win, we will win the 18 local governments.”